Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Ender Sai, Oct 11, 2005.
I forsee terrorism and government oppression replacing the chicken and the egg.
Taiwan, Transnistria, Nagorno Karabakh, South Ossetia, Somaliland... You could name dozens of regions where the state those regiuons officially belong to has no power at all. A lot of those states have sought for recognition for years.
And there are dozens of other regions who are now eager to test the KLA's brilliant formula (promise a superpower something . works best if it's the US of A -, launch a terrorist campaign and hide behind civilians, provoke overreaction of the government, ask that superpower for help and drive out the government's forces).
This is very troubling because again the whole apparatus designed to handle international affairs (UNSC resolutions, international law) has been breached. This might seem okay to some of you because "the good guys" did it this time but some day the practice of unilateralism will haunt us all.
The declaration of independence in fact violates UN resolution 1244 which guarantees Serbias territorial integrity. And even if Serbia would take military action (which they don't do) the UN security council wouldn't condemn them because China and Russia would veto anything against them. But that's only hypothetical - Serbia is not interested in another war with the NATO.
You're forgetting the most brilliant part of the KLA'S formula: the brilliant media campaign to convince western leaders (Don't forget Tony Blair's role in this) that another Srebrenica was going on.
Of course, the Serb's treatment of the Kosover Albanians was in part due to the terrorists practices of the KLA. Which were likely due to prior bad treatment of the Kosover Albanians. Which probably goes back to the poor treatment Christians by the Ottomans. Wash, rinse repeat, and we're back in the Crusades.
But this misses the point I was making. Kosovo isn't just some break away republic, it was taken over by, and has been administered under authority of the UN.
I mean, look at Russia and Chechnya. Now, the roots of that struggle mirrored the ones you're describing for Kosovo. But the difference is that, good or bad, Russia never defaulted to the UN. Currently, which countries view Chechnya as external issue instead of an internal one? I can't think of any.
In Kosovo, the Serbian government lost control and the UN stepped in to administer it. One the UN assumed control, the issue rose to an extra-national level, and as a result, what Serbia wanted became a single piece within a larger puzzle.
The collective will is where the UN draws its authority from.
EDIT: missed this part:
The declaration of independence in fact violates UN resolution 1244 which guarantees Serbias territorial integrity.
No, not at all. RES 1244, only affirmed integrity while the final resolution was being debated. In essence, 1244 froze Kosovo until such time as a final agreement could be worked out. Nothing in 1244 guaranteed that Kosovo was to remain part of Serbia forever.
In fact, once the talks broke down and Serbia failed to negotiate in good faith, the UNSC had the authority as trustee to determine an alternative arrangement.
History is never far away in the Balkans and Kosovo is a bit trickier than usual since according to Serbian national identity the geographic heartland of Serbia is situated in what is today Kosovo, eventhough most Serbs have since then moved out of the area and centred in the area that is called Serbia today. And if you think Russians can be paranoid, then think about what Serbians feels since they haven't even been their own country throughout most of the history and feel that the UN and EU have treated them as the only bad guys since the 1990's.
Be sure, I've read the text and this is an interpretation that goes way to far. Keep in mind - Russia would not have agreed on anything that comes close to what you suggest.
This is simply not true as Serbia was ready to give Albanians a substiantial autonomy as demanded by 1244. Albanians wouldn't accept anything else than independence, Serbians wouldn't let them go away. So I necessarily see how you can blame entirely one side. If you want you can rather blame Albanians who agreed to remain a part of Serbia in Rambouillet.
There has been no UNSC resolution to overrule 1244. So what?
It's official: Castro is stepping down in favor of his brother Raul. I'm not bothering to link it because it's on all the news sites, pick one and you'll find it. So far I haven't seen any sites with quotes from folks in Miami's Little Havana--not that they'll have anything new to say about it.
Or are we still on Kosovo?
Mmm, Cuba seems surprisingly quiet at the moment. Shall we shift the discussion down to the Colombia/Ecuador/Venezuela standoff? Don't want to miss out on World War III now do we.
Castro's stepping down isn't all that dynamic for Cuba, in my eyes. The Communist Party is tightening up and Raul won't do anything too different than Fidel, so meh.
But Venezuela. Oh, Venezuela. Always nice to see a crazy person do something insane. What with Turkey invading northern Iraq to flush out PKK members, it's not that surprising to see someone finally bring up the issue of territorial integrity in the war on terror, but why did it have to be Chavez? Chavez wants nothing more than attention and an image boost for himself. Ever since that constitutional defeat a few months ago, I'm thinking that Chavez is looking for something to reinforce his tough, concerned image. However, Chavez's actions will probably only make the situation worse. The Colombian defense minister says President Uribe (of Colombia) had contacted Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa to notify him of the activities. Even if that's not true, I find it hard to believe that Ecuador will raise a fuss over an incursion to stop regional terrorism. The methods of the FARC are well-known and well-despised. In terms of principle, I can see why Chavez is getting upset. Territorial integrity should outweigh the need to stop a domestic threat in theory, but in real-world politics it's probably easier to ask for forgiveness than permission, especially when dangerous, violent men and women are involved. If Colombia did tell Ecuador they were coming, there's no problem. If Colombia did not tell Ecuador they were coming, there shouldn't be a problem. Ecuador and Colombia are neighbors and I think a sense of common brotherhood would prevail in this case. Chavez is overreacting, questing for attention at the expense of the peace of his neighbors.
Bumping this, sort of, but also adding some information.
It seems I was wrong about Ecuador not taking this too harshly, as Ecuador is sending 3200 troops to a border province. And it seems Colombia is getting deeper into this, accusing Chavez of giving money to Raul Reyes and the FARC.
The second article has some analysis showing that Chavez might be making the problem worse:
"This is saber-rattling, trying to make a point," said Adam Isacson, an analyst for the Washington-based Center for International Policy. By holding a moment of silence in honor of the slain rebels during his program, Chavez "has all but said that the FARC will be safe in Venezuela, and that the Venezuelan armed forces would respond to a similar Colombian incursion into Venezuelan territory."
(Emphasis my own)
Looks like this is getting a little out of hand. Hopefully calm prevails and the three nations can step back before war actually breaks out.
So when was the last time in history that somebody sent troops to someone's border and actually pulled back? This isn't saber-rattling, this is pointing your sword at someone's face as the adrenaline pumps full-blast through your body and prepares you for the first swing. If people aren't interested in peace, then there isn't going to be peace.
In 1968, the Soviets massed troops along the Chinese border. There were a few clashes in 69, but it did not lead to an all-out war.
Rioting and protesting in Tibet.
Whether Tibetans should protest China I wont directly address. The timing is of course, set in the buildup to the Olympics this summer. This, coupled with the closing of Mt. Everest (china's side) and the immediacy of China's reaction lead me to wonder how much control/stability is actually in the region.
Granted, it is a large matter of saving face, and a continuation of China's policy of leaving internal matters within their borders. But the sharp crackdown and further limiting of media dont seem to me the best image of itself that could be shown to the world right as China takes center stage. Live rounds and tear gas seem unacceptable against what might be (but we cant be certain due to the limits on media) no more upsetting than that which France had awhile ago. And were it a full blown insurrection, I dont see how the same issue comes into play to put it down quickly and efficiently would cause China to lose face internationally.
My direct experience with the culture is admittedly limited. Would appreciate the insight of those with a broader knowledge.
But one wonders. With the US and EU already suggesting China act carefully, could more such demonstrations lead to a general boycott of the Olympics, and what would that do to China's bid for further acceptance internationally? Dont believe it will progress that far personally. But another setup like Tiananmen square '89 would certain damage any progress.
Further, if Kosovo can declare independence and get rapid approval/recognition from many countries, would that set a precedent for Tibet to attempt the same, and further, would China's military capability and economic strength render any such action abortive?
Further, if Kosovo can declare independence and get rapid approval/recognition from many countries, would that set a precedent for Tibet to attempt the same
I'm no expert but didn't Tibet already try that?
I think you'll see more boycotting of the Beijing Olympics for environmental reasons than for political reasons. Tibet isn't a big enough international cause to keep athletes away from the games.
What value is Tibet of to China anyway? If they're concerned with "breakaway provinces" making off with their land then can't the Tibetans just do a Louisiana Purchase and buy the territory off China?
It's almost unpatrollable. I imagine that's one reason why China wants Tibet under the ROC. It's mountainous territory - perfect for guerrilla groups to strike from a la Cambodia and Vietnam. And it also forms the southern border with India, so there's a security concern there perhaps.
This may be a stupid and naive question, but can someone tell me why Serbia care so much that Kosovo wants to be independent? It's full of people that they tried to exterminate over 10 years ago. Wouldn't they want them OUT of their society? (My history is sketchy so I can never remember who were paramilitaries and who were the victims.)
Serbia doesn't want the people, they want the land -- the Kosovo region contains a large number of sites of major historical significance for Serbia. That was the point of the crackdown to begin with.
As for Tibet, China and the Olympics, I doubt there will be a boycott. The problem was giving China the Olympics in the first place -- there was supposed to be something of a quid pro quo -- China makes an effort on human rights, in exchange it can have the Olympics. China hasn't held up it's end of the bargain.
I remember the US Boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics over Afghanistan. Really an incredibly senseless waste. I always felt bad for the athletes, many worked their entire lives for that one chance, and an ill-advised political move stole that chance away from them.
Soo, China's saying the Dalai Lama and his supporters are behind the violence.
so, China is saying:
I think it's quite safe to say that'll be about as widely believed in the US mainstream, at least, as, say, the X-Files being based on actual events.
The Dalai Lama needs to go home and lead by example, or shut up.
Its really easy to comment on, and tell people what to do when you aren't there. He has spent too much time in the United States.
He may as well just call in for a reservation at whatever passes for the Chinese version of the Hanoi Hilton.
And how exactly is he out of touch with the situation in Tibet? Calling for moderation and non-violence is a stand of principle, and he'd be saying the same thing no matter where in the world he happens to be.
The same way you and I are out of touch with it, because we aren't knee deep in it every day.
The Dalai Lama saying that he wants his people to protest peacefully, is asking them to suffer and die for a cause he isn't willing to do the same for.
Look at many of the gray hairs in the United States government who currently defend, or have defended the need to fight terror, and spread patriotism. Standing for your principals is fine, doing it at the expense of someone elses life is not.
I am not saying that violent revolt is the answer, I don't know what is. But telling a bunch of your countrymen to suffer passively under a regime that you ran from, is a crock and a half.
I am sure the Dalai Lama is a good man, and like all persons, has the potential for greatness. He is not only the spiritual leader, but political leader of Tibet as well. To abandon his post, and then threaten to relinquish one of his primary purposes as a threat, to keep his people in line, is far beneath him. So he should be that leader to his people, or not! But no one benefits from him half-@@@ing it, and at least have the decency not to make threats to his already weary nation.
As to the Hanoi Hilton thing...thats no reason for him not to do his job.
I dunno. I thought people who were in exile weren't allowed back into their country.
The Dalai Lama was never forced to leave Tibet, he was not exiled.